A UK Study Reveals Dogs Can Detect COVID-19 Positive Cases
Dogs can be trained to detect more than 90 percent of Covid-19 infections even in the case of asymptomatic patients, as per research published Monday, which could help replace the need to quarantine new arrivals according to authors hope.
With their remarkable sense of smell, dogs have already shown that they can sniff out diseases including cancer, malaria, and epilepsy.
It is proved from several previous studies that dogs can detect SARS-CoV-2.
Researchers from the London School of Tropical Medicine checked to see if dogs could help in detecting a distinctive odour emit from chemical compounds associated with someone who is Covid-19 positive but is symptomless.
Samples of clothing and face masks have been collected from people who had tested positive for mild or symptomatic SARS-CoV-2.
Samples of the socks of 200 Covid-19 patients were arranged in lab tests for six dogs that had been trained to find the presence or absence of the chemical compound.
The dogs needed to be trained not to identify "false positives" in a bid and obtain treats even if they found no Covid-19 samples in each test.
"This means that the dog has full understanding and gets a reward for both correct negative as well as a correct positive," stated Claire Guest, from the school's Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases.
The dogs were successfully able to recognize between 94 and 82 percent of SARS-CoV-2 samples.
The researchers then showed how these success rates in combination with traditional PCR tests, could help in detecting mild or symptomless Covid-19 cases.
According to them, using dogs to screen arrivals at stations like airports could detect 91 percent of Covid-19 patients, which will result in 2.24 times lower rate of transmission than with PCR tests alone.